I’m excited to see the re-establishment of the World Pro Ski Tour to be used as an alternative and supplement to the FIS World Cup. I think that due to FIS’s current stranglehold on high level ski racing there is little innovation and few alternative options for the athletes. It is refreshing to see different and new ideas added to the ski community and I’m looking forward to seeing the World Pro Ski Tour in action.
The pro tour era represents the hay day of ski racing. Its fast-paced side-by-side format provides excitement for even the most novice ski racing fan. As a world cup skier trying to break into the top 30 in the world, it will be great to have another tour with prize money. Unless you are consistently posting top-10 finishes in world cup races it’s very difficult to make a living in our sport- this will definitely make a difference.
I believe that the timing is right for some changes and additions in the ski racing industry and the revitalization of the Pro Tour will bring many more opportunities for our young and upcoming athletes besides the pathway to the World Cup Circuit. I hope that for many junior athletes in the world (particularly in the US and Canada) the dream of becoming a world class athlete (World Cup or World Pro Tour) will jumpstart again. This dream was cut short over the past years due to the changes and criteria of USSA and the international recruitment of the top NCAA Schools.
I’m too young to have had any exposure to the original circuit, but I’ve heard stories and seen pictures. To me this kind of racing makes complete sense. It’s clear to me that the dual style race is a spectator favorite. Whenever the World Cup has dual races the stands are always packed. It’s one thing to have the racer going against a clock and see split times, but when you can see the racers going head to head it is really exciting! To me the original Pro Tour represents a time when skiing was cool and hip. Hot Dog…The Movie had just come out and the US had some of the best skiers in history, like the Mahre brothers, beginning to join the Pro Tour. This tour could be the saving grace for US skiing. With the cost of the sport increasing and athletic benefits decreasing, skiing isn’t necessarily a sound career choice these days. I know that as a member of the US Ski Team we have to pay annual payments of up to $30,000. On top of this, before you are ranked top 30 in the world it is rare to see a skier make any money. This obstacle has sidelined some of the top talents in the US, which is hurtful to the US skiing program as a whole. If the Pro Tour were to return, it could give ski racers a means to make a decent living for themselves. Now obviously we ski race because we love the sport, but when you’re consistently asked to shell out tens of thousands of dollars without a source of income this lifestyle becomes unsustainable. So the Pro Tour could not only increase the exposure of competitive skiing to the US population, but also help skiers make money that they can then put towards their training…Sign me up!
CBS Sports Network Time Slots:
April 22, 2019 11:00 PM EST
Event: Waterville Valley, NH, held Feb 9, 2019
April 29, 2019 11:00 PM EST
Event: Steamboat Springs, CO, held Mar 2, 2019
May 6, 2019 11:00 PM EST
Event: Sunday River, ME, held Mar 30, 2019